Document Type : Original Research Paper


Physics Department, Faculty of Sicence, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objective: Today, a positivist one-dimensional view of science, where it considers scientific propositions to be objective, definite, and fixed, is not credible enough, and the interdisciplinary and multidimensional nature of science is considered. Science is a human endeavor to explain natural phenomena that require interdisciplinary knowledge. The product of this effort, in which people from all cultures and branches of science participate, is scientific knowledge. This knowledge is based on empirical evidence, rational reasoning, and skepticism; and while it is enduring, it is transient and temporary. Over the past century, the debate over the definition of science and how science works has given rise to the realm of the "nature of science." The nature of science is a common issue in the philosophy, history, sociology, and psychology of science that addresses questions such as science and how it works. Scientists respond to how society functions as a group and how society and science interact. In this field, various components such as observation and inference, transience and temporality, imagination and creativity, society and culture, laws and theories in science and multiple scientific methods are studied, which are referred to as "components of the nature of science". In this article, with a descriptive-survey design and with a quantitative approach of science students, "students' understanding of science and scientific exploration" was assessed.
Methods:  The population consisting of second and third year undergraduate physics students of Tehran and Isfahan universities was considered. A statistical sample consisting of 4 classes from two universities was available. A questionnaire for students' understanding of science and scientific exploration was provided to students. Data were analyzed by one-sample t-test and correlation coefficient.
Findings: The results showed that the assessed students have an incomplete understanding of the components of the nature of science. There is a significant positive correlation between physics students' understanding of the concept of mass and their views on the nature of science. In order to provide up-to-date solutions to increase students' familiarity with the nature of science, elements of 21st century super-technology - the Internet - for learning science and understanding the nature of science were introduced. It was shown that observation and inference, fantasy and creativity, society and culture, laws and theories, and in addition the transience of science and scientific methods all need to be taught with modern online methods.
Conclusion: In this article: 1- with normal statistics, we proved that students and the general public do not know about science and its basic components; 2- we discussed the potentials of the web space to introduce science and its evolving and creative nature; and 3- suggestions were made in order to strengthen education and knowledge of science.


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